Rating: 5 Cups of Coffee
It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met.
It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.
But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart.
RACING THE SUN was a vacation for your mind and a chance to fall in love with a place you've never been to. Halle's descriptive writing puts you on a ferry to Capri with Amber, a girl who is holding out for a miracle because she's got nothing left to lose. She's out of money, time and patience; her euro trip is so close to ending but she's not ready to give up her newfound freedom. Amber answers an ad for a live-in English teacher and her life is irrevocably changed.
Derio is the legal guardian of his two younger siblings, a pair of adorable kids who are grieving the loss of their parents, just like Derio is. He hires Amber to teach them English and you can tell he kind of falls for Amber's charm and wit immediately (but he doesn't necessarily show it!) Derio lost his parents, his love, and his ability to move on the night of the accident. Meeting Amber made him come face-to-face with a lot of the pain he was holding onto; his heart was grieving, but not moving on. I loved living through Amber's eyes and feeling her fall in love with Italy, the culture, the feeling of freedom, the incredible difficulty of being responsible for someone other than herself and the overwhelming sense of finding love in a mysterious place.
Halle keeps you falling in love and leaves you in a puddle of wanderlust. Derio and Amber are magic together. They learn so much about each other and how to handle the incredible feeling of being in love and not knowing where to go from there.
If you are looking for the perfect summer escape -- the kind of summer read that makes you want to buy a one-way ticket to Capri -- this is your story.
RACING THE SUN by Karina Halle
Atria Books Paperback | On sale: July 28, 2015 | ISBN: 9781476796444, $15
eBook ISBN: 9781476796482, $7.99 | 384 pages
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